In Pakistan, we are seen these days many things that can attribute to a weak justice system. The Judicial System of Pakistan is not providing even the basic fundamental rights to its citizens. Debates on the weaknesses of the justice system in Pakistan continue. Delay in judgments of cases is a major problem of the justice system. It is generally said that it is a great thing if the grandson hears the decision of the grandfather’s case. The culture of the date upon a date has not given our justice system a good name.
Weakness of the Judicial System in Pakistan
The justice system should reform itself to end the culture of the date upon a date. No government can do this. This work has to be done by the judiciary itself. The Subordinate Judiciary and the Supreme Judiciary must bring such reforms in themselves that judicial proceedings are mandatory on a fixed date. There should be a regular schedule for giving the new date.
There should be a uniform policy on this so that the citizens know how many days, weeks, or months their case will be decided. When the culture of the date upon a date continues unhindered in all cases while there is a monitoring judge in one case, it will be considered a violation of the basic spirit of equal justice. When a normal case will not take many years and a case will be started immediately, then questions will arise.
I understand that the judiciary of Pakistan wastes a lot of time in bail cases. A lot of time between the subordinate judiciary and the superior judiciary is wasted in bail cases. Judicial reforms are also mandatory for bail. This can save a lot of time for the judiciary. Bail should not be a judicial matter prior to arrest. The Investigating Officer should oblige the accused to be granted bail before arrest as soon as the investigation is started. Only when the investigating officer wants remand should the matter go to court.
Although in civilized countries there is no need to go to court even for remand for up to three days. Police and other agencies give remand up to three days on their own. This is an administrative matter. This is not a judicial matter. Its purpose is to remove the unnecessary burdens on the court. If a case requires remand for more than three days, the matter should go to court. Remand cases also waste a lot of court time. For this purpose, the administration should create a procedure within itself.
In the remand case of Shehbaz Gul, the basic philosophy of equal justice is also seen to be negated. Judiciary should not obstruct the investigation in any case. It is also wrong to make remand a political issue. Will the remand of an important man become a national issue? And will the remand of the common man not be the main issue? Does the investigating officer have to investigate the importance of the accused? There should be such an attitude on the part of the judiciary that the investigating officer should not come under pressure due to the importance of the accused. Such judicial directions should be given at once which are applicable in all cases.
Imran Khan’s three-day bail is also being talked about a lot. An opinion has also emerged that this safeguard is contrary to the basic spirit of equal justice. Muslim League (N)’s Khawaja Saad Rafique tweeted that when he and his brother approached the same court for similar protective bail, they were denied, while Imran Khan was granted bail is given Similarly, it has come to light regarding former President Asif Zardari that he was also asked to appear in court, but was denied bail without appearing in person. While Imran Khan has been granted bail without appearing.
Legally savvy people know that a three-day security guarantee is not a huge relief. This is a minor relief, but when such relief has been denied in the past, questions will surely arise. When every accused is required to appear in court for bail, if one is granted bail without appearing, then questions will arise. Similarly, when the plea of a common man is not heard and he is directed to go to the High Court, why should one be given relief for coming directly to the High Court?
Equal justice is the basic spirit of the justice system. Targeted justice, however, justified, cannot be liked. Someone’s appeals may be filed quickly and some may not take many years. When everyone is forced to be biometric and one is given a discount, questions will arise. Can a common man’s plea for a security warrant be heard without biometrics? Can a common accused say that the judge of the subordinate court is on leave, so you should hear my case on a priority basis?
When the Prime Minister of the past could be punished for contempt of court, today there should be no punishment for challenging and threatening the judge in public meetings. In the past, parliamentarians have been convicted in other cases including contempt of court, so following the law is the requirement of justice.
In front of the justice system, no one is superior, equal justice is the basis of the justice system. When equal justice has been denied in the past, it has not produced good results.
I have written earlier that the subordinate judiciary needs to be strengthened. The Islamabad High Court has initiated contempt of court proceedings for challenging and threatening the Islamabad Additional Sessions Judge in a public meeting. So I think the subordinate judiciary should also have the power of contempt of court.
The case should be heard by the same Additional Judge who has been threatened or insulted. Contempt of the subordinate judiciary has become a trend. We have seen that the judges in the subordinate judiciary are also insulted by the lawyers. Therefore, if we want to restore the dignity of the subordinate judiciary, then we have to give contempt of court powers to the subordinate judiciary. The judge who has been defamed should have jurisdiction to hear the contempt case. This is the basic spirit of justice.